spring menswear trends
By Lee Cutlip / July 21, 2020 10:56 am

Fashion, in this current moment, is far from a futile pursuit. While our wardrobes may have been rendered near obsolete as we continue to recycle the same few outfits, designers continue to toil over new collections, with this past week marking the first fashion week of the Covid-era, as the Spring 2021 menswear “shows” were presented in a range of inventive ways.

It’s easy to question the importance of such things at a time like this, but as always in fashion, the best designers approached their collections with obvious regard for context. For some, it was an opportunity to design something that spoke to the current moment — at Prada we witnessed models in crisp white button downs tucked into sweatpants, Miuccia Prada’s own version of Zoom appropriate attire.

And even when the collections don’t feel like they serve a wholly practical purpose, their frivolity presents a much-needed opportunity for escape. Fashion shows, in the traditional sense, have always served as a form of escapism, the physical space working in tandem with the clothes to transport the viewer. Without these physical spaces and bold presentations, the viewer relies more than ever on the clothes as a means of transporting them elsewhere. Sensing this, designers seemed to give themselves fully to the collections, crafting pieces and outfits in which the intent and story behind them was immediately evident, even without the physical space of a show to further the narrative.

Below are five trends from the Spring 2021 menswear shows that you can incorporate into your wardrobe right now.

Touch of Neon

Dior and Hermès.
Vogue

A notoriously difficult thing to pull off, neon can be intimidating, but the Spring 2021 menswear collections were a lesson in how to incorporate the oft-derided neon green (or yellow) into one’s wardrobe. The key lies in offsetting the color with other more muted tones, so as not to make an eyesore of yourself.

Take the above looks from Dior and Hermès — they opted for grey and light blue tones, allowing the neon bag and shirt (respectively) to be the focal point of the outfits, without being too overwhelming. Even those hesitant to incorporate such a bold color into their wardrobe can indulge in the trend by way of a neon yellow sandal or a simple hat, paired with a neutral top and bottom for a look that says you’re not afraid to experiment, but you know your limits.

Teva Hurricane Drift

Only NY Court Logo Polo Hat

Madewell Tie-Dye Crew Socks

Nike Sportswear Woven Shorts

The Return of the Mandal

Lemaire and Isabel Marant.
Vogue

Mandals, Jesus sandals, granola shoes — whatever your preferred moniker for the divisive sandal, they’re evidently back. The clunky sandals were seen at Lemaire, Isabel Marant and Hermès among others, often shown in a very specific silhouette of mandal, the fisherman sandal.

It’s a silhouette you rarely see, one that even purveyors of the most ugly shoes can’t bring themselves to get behind. Yet there’s a quality to the shoes that conjures images of coastal towns in Greece or quaint Italian fishing villages. They’re a distinctly warm-weather sandal that lend themselves well to being both dressed up and down. For styling cues, take note of the loose fitting silhouettes of both Lemaire and Marant for an overall relaxed and summery feel.

Grenson Wiley Leather Sandals

Birkenstock Milano

Mango Leather Straps Sandals

De Bonne Facture Fisherman Sandals

Go West (Figuratively)

Etro and Phipps.
Vogue

Traveling remains a distant possibility for many, but several designers sought to conjure the spirit and aesthetic of the West. For Italian brand Etro, their take on the look could be found in details like an embroidered diamond pattern along the front of a leather jacket, paired with a similarly patterned button-down and topped off with a handkerchief around the neck.

In contrast, Phipps opted for a slightly more subtle but more cohesive Western look, pairing a silky plaid popover with ever-so-slightly flared army green denim pants and deep brown leather accessories. For those who fear looking too much like a cowboy, begin by incorporating one piece into an outfit that hints at the trend, whether it be a pair of leather boots or a patterned shirt.

Corridor Cowboy Dan

Nudie Jeans Co Loose Alvar

Anderson’s Brown Suede Western Belt

R.M. Williams Archive Boot

The Baggier the Better

Massimo Alba and Ermenegildo Zegna.
Vogue

Somewhere, Adam Sandler is rejoicing, as the preferred short silhouette of the season seems to be longer and looser. For those who haven’t been able to commit to showing a little extra thigh, you can rest easy knowing that for Spring 2021, longer is better. Go ahead and adopt the trend into your wardrobe now with these L.L.Bean pleated shorts or this linen blend Uniqlo pair. Both offer a wider silhouette to allow reprieve from their shorter, tighter counterparts and a more enjoyable experience of wear on your part.

Yet with an oversized silhouette, especially when it comes to shorts, the wearer runs the risk of looking a little schleppy, so don’t be afraid to glean styling inspiration from the looks above and opt to pair your shorts with an equally smart blazer or with a tucked-in shirt to create a more defined silhouette.

L.L.Bean Wrinkle-Free Double L® Chino Shorts

Uniqlo Linen Blended Shorts

Alex Mill Pleated Chino Shorts

Lacoste Pinstriped Linen-Blend Bermuda Shorts

The Zoom Fit

Prada and Rhude.
Vogue

With the way things are looking, Zoom will still be an integral part of our lives come spring ’21, so you’ll want to get your Zoom ‘fits dialed in now. The 2021 menswear shows argued that it’s time to start taking these ensembles seriously — even if it’s a crisp white button down paired with sweatshorts.

Although often worn in jest, as Prada and Rhude proved, there’s no reason this pairing couldn’t (or shouldn’t) work as legitimate outfits. While we’re not suggesting you go the full Prada route and tuck both tie and shirt into sweatpants, the sentiment remains the same, so before you find yourself changing post-Zoom meeting, consider leaving the outfit on, even going so far as to add some socks and loafers to complete the look.

Entireworld Organic Cotton Giant Shirt

UO Pierce Dyed Knit Short

Gap Ribbed Crew Socks

G.H. Bass Layton Kiltie Weejuns

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